With talks between the NBA's locked-out players and owners breaking off Friday without a deal, commissioner David Stern has announced the cancellation of games through Nov. 30th and that the NBA will not play a full season "under any circumstances."
"It's not practical, possible or prudent to have a full season now," Stern said.
Stern made the announcement after a third consecutive day of meetings ended without a deal in sight. While the two sides made progress on system issues during talks on Friday, it screeched to a halt when the topic turned to revenues, he said.
Reiterating the league's offer to go as high as a 50-percent split of basketball-related income with the players, Stern said union executive director Billy Hunter "said that he was not willing to go a penny below 52 (percent)."
"He closed up his book and walked out of the room. And that's where we are," Stern said.
No further talks have been scheduled.
The players will not accept a 50-50 split, Hunter and union president Derek Fisher of the Los Angeles Lakers said.
"Derek and I made it clear that we could not sell the 50-50 deal to our membership. Not with all the concessions that we've granted," Hunter said. "We've got to have some dollars."
"We feel like we've made concessions," Fisher added. "Right now it's not enough."
After two days of making some progress on salary-cap issues, the two sides turned their attention back to the revenue split Friday, the 120th day of the lockout. Talks broke down last week over that issue, and they had not attempted to deal with it since.
The players last formally proposed getting 52.5 percent, leaving them about $100 million apart annually. Players were guaranteed 57 percent in the previous collective bargaining agreement.
Hunter said the league initially moved its target down to 47 percent during Friday's six-hour session, then returned to its previous proposal of 50 percent of revenues.
"We're not quite sure if they're at 50 or if they're really at 47," Fisher said.
But Stern challenged that characterization, saying the league's offer was 50 percent.
Either way, the league's financial losses will mount as games are lost.
"We've lost $200 million, we're going to lose several hundred (million) more," Stern said. "We're going to have to recalculate how bad the damage is. ... The next offer will reflect the extraordinary losses that are piling up now."
Discussions about the salary cap system also proved problematic, Hunter said.
"We've told them that we don't want a hard cap. We don't want a hard cap any kind of way, either an obvious hard cap or a hard cap that may not be as obvious to most people but we know it works like a hard cap," Hunter said. "And so you get there, and then all of a sudden they say, 'Well, we also have to have our number.' And you say, 'Well wait a minute, you're not negotiating in good faith.'"
Though they will miss a paycheck on Nov. 15, Hunter said each player would have received a minimum of $100,000 from the escrow money that was returned to them to make up the difference after salaries fell short of the guaranteed 57 percent of revenues last season.
The sides met for 7½ hours Thursday following a 15-hour marathon the previous day.
"We're not sure when we're going to meet again, but we're hopeful that soon enough we can get back at this and try and close this out," Fisher added. "Today wasn't the day."
Screw it. Avalanche, anyone?